France’s financial prosecutor is likely to take further legal steps this week in its investigation into allegations of fake work by presidential candidate Francois Fillon’s wife, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

 

 

The Journal de Dimanche (JDD) cited unidentified sources saying the proceedings — which would mean the prosecutor had decided against dropping the case for lack of evidence — would involve both Fillon and his British wife Penelope.

 

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor said no decision had been taken. “No decision has been made at this stage of the investigation and no timeframe has been agreed as of today,” she said.

 

Officials representing conservative candidate Fillon, who is on a visit to the island of Reunion, could not immediately be reached for comment.

 

The couple’s lawyer did not respond to a message requesting a response. Fillon has confirmed that his wife was paid, but has said the work was genuine.

 

His lawyers have questioned the legal legitimacy of the case and have asked the financial prosecutor to drop it.

 

Fillon, who has rallied his party behind him, is fighting to keep his campaign alive and has said he will step down if he is put under formal investigation.

 

Opinion polls since the scandal broke almost three weeks ago show him slipping out of the race, with voters turned off by the probe into a report by the Canard Enchaine satirical weekly that his wife was paid hundreds of thousands of euros in taxpayers money for work she may not have done.